Far North District Mayor Wayne Brown has offered an apology for the way three French tourists were treated in Kaitaia.
Police say the three men were robbed and beaten early on Friday morning.
A man knocked on their campervan window, demanding money and then broke into the van with a second man.
Two of the Frenchmen were assaulted - one has facial injuries.
Police describe the offenders as male Maori, aged between 20 and 30 years old.
Mr Brown fears the news could affect future tourism prospects.